By Jordyn Diebler
Originally published in Be Still Magazine, Issue 9.
To be bold can be intimidating. Bold, not in the typeface on your computer sense, but rather a character trait or an action. To be bold means to be brave, daring, or courageous. This can sound like a simple thing to do in certain areas of your life. You might be thinking, “Yes, I can ask for a raise. I deserve it.” Or maybe a friend keeps reminding you, “You’re single. You need to casually date,” but you know there’s something else out there for you.
It might be easy for you to be bold in certain situations, but for me, to be bold in my Christian faith is another ball game. Being bold in my faith means being vulnerable in my beliefs, regardless if I have the same beliefs as someone else or not. It’s hard to be bold in your faith, especially if you know someone doesn’t share the same opinion as you.
I would consider myself a confident person, but I’ve often struggled with expressing myself exactly the way I want or the way I’ve planned in my head. I envy the people that are so bold as to confidently speak their minds even if what they want to say is an unpopular opinion or not the cultural norm.
Most of the time, I find I struggle to be bold because I’m fearful or uncertain. My lack of boldness, specifically in my faith, stems from being unseasoned in expressing my faith and belief in Jesus Christ. I don’t have every Bible verse memorized, I couldn’t begin to state all the names in Genesis, and I don’t know all the historical references in the Bible. But I do know, this doesn’t make me unqualified to share the love of Christ. I’m certain Jesus would rather me engage in a meaningful relationship with Him rather than worrying about memorizing every word. I know He created me for purpose, not perfection. However, knowing this doesn’t erase all my fears about being bold in faith.
Often, my lack of boldness comes from being afraid that I’ll be judged or afraid I will offend someone. I come from an unchurched family and have a heart for unchurched people, but I know that sharing the love of Jesus to those unfamiliar with Him can be intimidating. Everyone has his or her own story of how they came to know Jesus, and not one person is alike. That’s why there’s not one specific way to share the good news of Jesus Christ to everyone.
In my journey specifically, I found the more bold and outspoken people were to me about Jesus, the more I wanted to shy away from them. These people meant well, but in my opinion, their lack of authenticity and their verbal boldness scared me.
Recently in my small group at church, someone said something that really struck a chord with me. They told me that God calls us to be bold. God is pleased with us when we do something different and step out in faith, knowing that God will help us through it. This inspired me to dig
deeper in what it means to be bold in your faith and the best way to live it out. Here’ s what I found:
In Acts chapter four, John and Peter get arrested for sharing the story of Jesus. When they’re brought before the Jewish rulers they were asked, “By what power or what name did you do this?” In verse 8-12 it goes on to say, “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
Then it goes on to say my favorite part in verse 13, “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”
They just knew that Peter and John had been with Jesus by the way they acted and responded! I think acting out what you believe in your own life is key to being bold. I love this passage because it is a perfect representation of how to be bold in our own lives:
Display your faith through actions.
Peter and John were displaying an “act of kindness shown to a man who was lame.” Rather than just saying to the man, “Jesus can heal that if you have faith in Him,” they actually did it. Rather than just saying, “I’ll be praying for you,” they showed this man – this stranger – true love and kindness.
Be authentic & don’t deny your faith.
In front of the men who had just sent Jesus to be crucified and could’ve easily sent Peter to the same cross, Peter was not intimidated or afraid to share his beliefs when asked. He becomes so bold as to say, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name.” When Peter faces people that don’t have the same beliefs as him, he doesn’t cave to their beliefs or shy away from his own opinion. Nor does he aggressively try to sway the ruler’s opinion either.
Peter is being authentic about who he is and what he believes.
Know the Holy Spirit is with you.
The passage states that before Peter gives his speech in front of the rulers, he was “filled with the Holy Spirit.” That’s the only way he was able to be so bold and articulate his words so clearly and directly to the heart of the matter. He was an uneducated, ordinary man, but through the power of the Holy Spirit, he was able to become bold. God used an ordinary man to fulfill an extraordinary role.
This passage is a beautifully simple example of how God can take ordinary people with extraordinary purposes in life and help them be bold to fulfill their calling.
I’ve come to realize that the more truthful and bold I become about my beliefs and values, the more respect I get for those beliefs. I’m learning to be bold in who I am without trying to convince people to believe what I believe.
God may not be calling you to perform miracles or speak boldly in front of many people. He might be calling you to simply love someone boldly and without condition. He might be calling you to show someone kindness without any promise of getting it back. Or perhaps, He is calling you to forgive someone that doesn’t deserve your forgiveness, and instead of holding a grudge (like most people do), He wants you to be different. He wants you to be bold in forgiving the unforgivable just as Jesus forgave you.
Whether it’s through your words or through your actions, large or small, be bold in knowing that God has your back. He is with you and will give you strength to do what you’re called to do.